Photo credit: Better Cotton Pakistan. Location: Islamabad, Pakistan, 2024. Description: Better Cotton and Net Zero Pakistan sign Memorandum of Understanding.

Better Cotton Pakistan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Net Zero Pakistan (NZP) to promote sustainability on cotton farms across the country and explore ways in which carbon emissions can be reduced.  

Net Zero Pakistan, a coalition of national companies, public institutions and sectoral experts, was launched in 2021 by the Pakistan Environmental Trust with a goal to ensure that Pakistan’s carbon emissions do not exceed the amount absorbed by the atmosphere by 2050.  

Its signatories commit to measuring and disclosing their Scope 1-3 greenhouse gas emissions – those relating to internal and supply chain activities – and following a roadmap to deliver improvements.  

This MOU with the coalition will be founded on the basis that, as a field-level organisation, Better Cotton is uniquely positioned to drive change at scale within Pakistani cotton farming communities via our standard system and the promotion of more sustainable agricultural practices.  

Soil health is directly linked to the environment’s ability to capture and store carbon, which helps combat the effects of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere while providing the ground with beneficial microbes. 

There are more than 500,000 licensed Better Cotton Farmers in Pakistan which work across more than one million hectares of land. In total, more than 1.5 million smallholder farmers produce cotton in Pakistan, with little to no protection from the effects of climate change.  

In 2022, 40% of the country’s cotton crop was lost due to severe floods caused by climate change. Better Cotton champions agricultural best practice to make cotton farming communities more resilient to extreme weather conditions – which, according to the cross-industry platform Cotton 2040, will impact cotton growing regions with increasing frequency.  

The MOU stipulates that Better Cotton and NZP will collaborate to: 

  • calculate emissions produced at the field level and identify how these can be reduced 
  • increase productivity and the production of more sustainable cotton 
  • implement quality improvement programmes throughout the value chain 
  • identify and establish better market linkages capable of streamlining industry collaboration 
  • develop joint initiatives for collaborative fundraising that would benefit Better Cotton’s mission in the country 
  • promote Better Cotton’s mission and benefits both domestically and internationally 

Our commitment to the production of more sustainable cotton in Pakistan is one shared by Net Zero Pakistan, which, since 2021, has itself had a notable impact on the country’s sustainability journey. We are excited to start this collaboration and explore opportunities to drive further improvements in cotton farming communities.

Earlier this month, Better Cotton Chief Operating Officer, Lena Staafgard, and the Director of Better Cotton Pakistan, Hina Fouzia, joined Net Zero Pakistan’s Programme Director, Hassan Anwar, at a signing event in Islamabad. 

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